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What’s the magic word? (04/27/2011)
By Frances Edstrom

It seemed almost miraculous that the sun was shining on Easter Sunday and we didn’t have to wear our winter coats. It made the family day that much more wonderful. All three of our grandchildren were in Winona (with their parents, of course), so it was a special weekend.

On Saturday morning we colored eggs. And even though I read all about how to make natural dyes, I wimped out and bought the egg dying kit at the grocery store. Cassidy said she didn’t think they had changed the packaging since she was a kid, but Angie remembered one year making Star Wars Easter Eggs (an odd choice except that people have actually written scholarly articles about the connection between the Bible and Star Wars).

Peyton, being oldest at 4, got to open the package and take out the various components. The little dye pills in their cellophane bags almost got eaten up, as Andie, 2, cried, “Candy! Candy!” when she spied them. But Cassidy got the pills safely into the cups of vinegar and water and we were soon dying the eggs. Peyton’s favorite colors are pink and purple, so she appropriated those. Andie’s favorite is orange, and the girls decided that Harry’s favorite color should be blue. They all wanted to use the little wire egg dipper to get the eggs out of the cups, but wonder of wonders, all the eggs escaped the dye process uncracked.

Then the decorating began. I remembered the magic crayon too late, but that didn’t matter. The kit came with a hundred little stickers that Peyton carefully doled out. She decided that Harry, 20 months, would be the family athlete, so gave him all the baseball and football stickers. She doled out a miserly number of the prettier stickers to Andie, and kept the most for herself, which she used to cover every square millimeter of her boiled eggs.

Since the adult to child ratio was 1:1, this whole event was accomplished with very little mess and no disaster. The eggs were then corralled and spirited away for the Easter Egg Hunt the next day.

The next day, Dan and Morgan brought the girls over after church, dressed in their Easter finery (no bonnets), and we all went into the back yard to search for the hidden baskets. Cassidy and I had hidden the eggs they had colored the day before, after carefully counting them so we’d be sure not to leave one out there to rot. They raced all over the yard gathering things into their baskets with delighted squeals.

My physical therapist, Janiece, said her father took a basket of eggs outdoors to hide on Easter morning only to discover that his German Shorthair had been following after him, carefully collecting the eggs and putting them into a nice big pile. Our retriever was safely in his kennel, not invited to the egg hunt.

Later in the day, after brunch with the extended family, and waving goodbye to the departing children and grandchildren, we were winding down at home. I told John I think Harry will one day be president. He was asking me for something when Cassidy said, “Now Harry, what’s the magic word?” and Harry said without hesitation and with a big smile on his face, “Grandma!” 


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